Meet Colby Pearce. Colby has finished three weeks of training here and is back home in the cycling hotspot of Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. If you follow track cycling then Colby needs no introduction. For those who don’t follow track, Colby has raced and won at the highest levels of competition in Point Score, Madison and the Euro Six Day circuit. He’s also been pretty handy racing road, crits and mtb as well. Colby is an accomplished coach and was the U.S.A. track coach for several years. He feels there is a need for quality bike fitting services in his part of the world and seeks to fill that need.
I normally require three things from training candidates: Plentiful bike fitting experience / Good knowledge of functional anatomy / Good knowledge of cycling and bike parts. If the candidate is the right person, I can cope without one of those three, but not without two; as it would mean someone having to spend a very long time here to bring them up to speed. Most people don’t have that kind of time and I’m not sure that I do either.
Colby is an exception. He has previous bike fitting experience, but not a lot of it. His knowledge of functional anatomy is okay but not as detailed as I would normally require, and his knowledge of cycling and bike parts is very good. I made an exception because Colby has achieved a lot on a bike without huge natural talent. He tests okay, but at the level he’s been racing, nothing unusual. He has had a successful career through attention to detail and taking a professional and holistic approach to his conditioning, diet, performance and tactics. In short, he has got more out himself relative to what he had to give than many of his more talented competition were able to. That kind of attention to detail is what helps make a good bike fitter.
Colby’s also freakishly flexible. He doesn’t stretch because he doesn’t need to. Instead he spends a lot of time practising stability exercises. His contortionist like range of joint movement is a hindrance unless he can be stable during power producing or load bearing movements. We were having a few beers one evening with several others when some one asked me if I could put my foot in my mouth. I told them “I think so” and then did it with each foot in turn which was greeted with “Not bad for an old bloke” to which I replied, “That’s nothing, check Colby out.” While sitting with an upright torso, Colby proceeded to extend one leg, lock the knee and then pull up the straight leg until his knee was touching his chin without any bend in his leg and without flexing his back. Now THAT was impressive. Expert cycling coach Alex Simmons joined in saying “I can do that too!” and did to general hilarity. The punch line being that he unclipped his prosthetic leg and held it vertically. If that doesn’t sound funny, you had to be there.
Colby tells me his nickname amongst those who know him is “The Orthotics Princess” because in more than 20 years of racing, he’s never been happy about how his feet feel on a bike. He has sought fitting advice locally and elsewhere from some high profile people and can’t remember how many pairs of prescription orthoses and footbeds he has used without ever being satisfied. It took both of us, but we nailed that one, leaving Colby a princess no more.
Colby has spent three weeks here; done all that could have been asked of him with regard to fitting, ridden slowly enough for me to keep up on a couple of five to seven hour rides, and more importantly, he’s going to be a really good bike fitter. He has acquired the knowledge that he needs to understand the more contentious areas of bike fitting, and he’s smart and applies the same professional attitude and attention to detail with his fittings that was the foundation of a successful international cycling career.
Colby has my recommendation and learn more about him here.
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